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  #11  
Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgeissinger View Post
There is another reason Catalina 30's are less expensive than other boats of the same age and size. As any good free marketer should realize, it is supply and demand! There are more Cat 30's than ANY other production keelboat.
I recently read a thread (here, I think) where someone was asserting that a Catalina (27 or 30, don't remember) was fine so long as you don't mind having 50 others just like it in the marina. I got a chuckle out of that. I don't give a rat's ass about having a "unique" boat. I just want a safe and fun one.
Quote:
Some other boats are very nice and desirable, but tend to have their price driven by their relative scarcity.
The C&C 30, for example, is available around here, but not in the numbers that Catalinas are. They seem to be built more stoutly, for sure, but foot-for-foot are a bit more costly than a Catalina, no surprise there. It does seem to have a deeper and narrower hull, which makes for less room inside, but (depending on who you ask) more stability when encountering waves and wakes.
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There are always, and I mean always, a few Cat 30's for sale somewhere. A Cat 30 is a comfortable, very roomy, dependable boat for which parts are still very much available. "Quality" can tend to be a subjective term, and I have owned two sailboats renowned for their quality. Don't discount the Catalinas.
I'm not at all discounting a Catalina. I mainly want to be sure that if I buy a boat it'll be comfortable enough for wife (who sometimes has motion-sickness issues) and new son, and able to be reasonably singlehanded. A C&C 30 has relatively more sail area than a Catalina 25/27/30, which would come in handy for light wind conditions, and maybe be set up for reefing from the cockpit, but I've also read that a design like this with a relatively large headsail and small main is harder to singlehand.

Like many folks I'm trying to balance the ostensible motion comfort of a larger, more expensive boat vs. being able to afford a smaller boat that's newer and in excellent condition. The costs of mooring and maintaining a larger boat worry me too, especially with an inboard. So, do I go for a sweet mid-80's Catalina 25 with a newer 8hp 4-stroke outboard that I could get for maybe $10-11k (and pay someone to add a couple of halyards, e-z-jax and reefing rigging), or go $20k for Catalina/C&C 27-30 with a 30-year-old inboard diesel, but better rigging and hopefully better motion comfort? Augh, wish I'd handled those stock options better a few years back :-/
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikhall View Post
The comfort factor was very important to us as well. Look at this link, Sail Calculator scroll down to where it is yellow and plug in two boats.
Very useful. Thanks!
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Pick a J24 and compare it to a Pearson 30. Look at the Motion Comfort (where the bigger the number is more comfortable. 24 compared to 10.5 is a BIG difference.
Big difference compared to Catalinas and C&C 30's too.
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Now - this is NOT the Bible! There are lots of factors, but it may give you food for thought.
Indeed. I've seen claims that these calculated metrics for motion comfort are less than useful, but short of spending a few days/grand renting various models and trying to compare them in varying weather, it seems like all I've got to go on.
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And yes - you can get a very nice boat from the 70s or 80s for under 20K - We did! We also paid for a very good surveyor.
You got a 34' for <20k? Early 70's? Did you have to pour $$$$ into it after purchase?
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Old 09-25-2008
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Anthony:

I think you "get" this already, but remember that anything you buy after the boat purchase you pay 100% of the new price for. Anything that is already on the boat is therefore, much cheaper.

In general, you should buy as much boat as you can afford. Otherwise you'll spend much more upgrading it.

When I decided to buy a Cat 30, I also expected to spend under $20K for it. After looking around carefully, I found that most of the ones under that price were going to cost me way more than that to upgrade to a condition that I would want.

So, I wound up buying a 1984 for $26,500. That was WAY more than I was expecting, but frankly, it was a smart move as the boat came with essentially everything I wanted. The P.O. used the boat for a similar purpose, which was daysails and cruising the San Juans with the family.

The boat was a bit rough cosmetically, and I'll get around to fixing that stuff, but not at the expense of sailing her.

This is my 5th sailboat, and I am still amazed at how little I've had to buy in the three years I've owned her.

Now, I'm not saying that you couldn't, with time, come up with the right boat under $20K. I think it's quite possible. You are probably looking at a smaller diesel or an Atomic 4 and a tiller instead of a wheel.

But, maybe not.

Also consider that a 25 foot boat with an outboard might cost you almost as much as a 30' boat with an inboard. The reason is that marinas tend to charge you for length overall and that will likely include the outboard, which can stick out quite a ways, especially if you intend to keep it out of the water.

Good luck on your search. My 1984 C30 is in Edmonds, and I'd be happy to take you sailing. Just send me a PM

David
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Last edited by djodenda; 09-25-2008 at 05:33 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djodenda View Post
I think you "get" this already, but remember that anything you buy after the boat purchase you pay 100% of the new price for. Anything that is already on the boat is therefore, much cheaper.
Absolutely, though I've seen boats with extensive but older electronics that the seller wants money for. In some cases I'd rather have less on the boat so I can more readily put in modern stuff, but your point is well-taken.
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In general, you should buy as much boat as you can afford. Otherwise you'll spend much more upgrading it.
At first read I thought you were counseling me to get as big a boat as I could afford, but then I realized that you mean to get a boat with the best condition/equipment. That's one reason why I'm considering this Catalina 25:

1985 Catalina Sail Boat For Sale - uk.yachtworld.com

It's in excellent shape, with lots of updates. PO worked at West Marine so he got good deals on stuff
Quote:
When I decided to buy a Cat 30, I also expected to spend under $20K for it. After looking around carefully, I found that most of the ones under that price were going to cost me way more than that to upgrade to a condition that I would want.
That's what concerns me, trying to figure out how much of that effect is cosmetics/status and how much is truly required. Eg., I don't much care if the boat's an ugly color, but if the shrouds are about to snap, or an onboard engine is going to seize, that's another matter entirely. Boats like these:
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/837169710.html
1971 Catalina 27 with four stroke Yamaha outboard

Here's an example of a Catalina 30 that's a bit higher up the scale:

1976 Catalina C-30 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
Quote:
So, I wound up buying a 1984 for $26,500. That was WAY more than I was expecting, but frankly, it was a smart move as the boat came with essentially everything I wanted. The P.O. used the boat for a similar purpose, which was daysails and cruising the San Juans with the family.
Sweet. I look at my finances, though, and even after an anticipated annual bonus I'd end up owing something like $700+/mo just for moorage and mortgage on a boat in that price range, assuming a 5 year loan, and with the kid on the way I don't know that I can go that high
Quote:
Now, I'm not saying that you couldn't, with time, come up with the right boat under $20K. I think it's quite possible. You are probably looking at a smaller diesel or an Atomic 4 and a tiller instead of a wheel.
Yeah, like that Cat30 above. I'm happy with a tiller. Less to go wrong, doesn't clutter the cockpit, and I can stick a tamer on it.
Quote:
Also consider that a 25 foot boat with an outboard might cost you almost as much as a 30' boat with an inboard. The reason is that marinas tend to charge you for length overall and that will likely include the outboard, which can stick out quite a ways, especially if you intend to keep it out of the water.
Good point. I'd assumed that it would fit under the 26' threshold but I'll be sure to ask about that.
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  #15  
Old 09-25-2008
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Something to also think about..........While a shorter loan as you mention, ie 5 yrs is nice, in some cases you can go out as far as 12 yrs! Which would make it easier to afford a slightly more expensive boat per say, and still have a smaller payment when things are tough in a current month if you will. When you have a more flush month, make higher payments, or in general, add $25-50 to the 12 yr loan payment, and you have a smaller yr loan too. Also the interest is deductible from a 2nd house standpoint, if the boat has IIRC cooking, sleeping and toilet area's.

If a C30 is something you want to look at, take David up on his offer, at least then you will know if you/spouse like it. Not sure if he needs crew a week from now on Oct 4 for the Foulweather Bluff race out of Edmonds, but that would be a good time for an 18 mile sail, upwind, reach and downwind runs WILL occur, be there a south, or north wind on that course.

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  #16  
Old 09-25-2008
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I second Davids overall synopsis and do take a ride on his boat. Thanks to David - he let me use his boat for the wider beam - to train on before I picked up my HG.

The one thing you do have to keep in mind - moorage is expensive. While I think I pay more than most due to Elliot Bay just being one of the pricier marinas - unless you moor in Bremerton (rates around $350 avg a month), Marty makes a valid point on a longer loan payback period. However, that maybe harder to do now with the crackdown on the loan industry and current record high credit defaults.


Additionally, keep in mind that the listed prices can be negotiated down quite substantially. See my description of my boat buying process in the boat buying sub forum.

Personally, if I was you - I would hold off on buying a boat until after the expected child (congrats) is a year or so old. You are going to find you have no time to begin with between work, cost of raising a child, and the new responsibility. That will give you plenty of time to day dream and find the one boat that screams out to you - "take me home". That was how I ended up with HG as I own a Catalina 27 as well..(as you know)...but it was the timing that landed me as her new owner.

As always good luck - your getting plenty of good advice..
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2008
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Anthony - as a reference:

Two years ago our son and his wife bought a Ranger 29, 1973, A4 that runs like a top, radar, GPS, etc. It surveyed well and he got it for $8500 US. Since then they've done some upgrades, cruise it when they can (time off is an issue) and do local races (winning their series this summer). There have been no issues with the boat, other than leaky windows, since fixed by us for the price of the plexi and sealant.

We brought it home in a 31 hour marathon Tacoma to Vancouver via the LaConner ditch (mid March, got to Anacortes at midnight with a full moon, actually found fuel and carried on!). They have been sailing with their daughter since she was a week old. It's been a fine boat. Perhaps they got lucky, but you are talking about a budget twice that. I think if you're careful and check things out well you'll do OK.
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Old 09-25-2008
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Having just recently purchased a Northstar 1000 (30') vessel with an Atomic IV gas motor, I can testify that you get what you pay for. I spent $11500 Canadian knowing I had work to do. The boat was in reasonably good shape; standing rigging is all well maintained, brightwork is clean, running rigging is well used but very servicable for the next year (although I'll replace bits and pieces as I go starting with the sheets) but I did have to do some very serious surgery. The surveyor was actually impressed with the milled stainless mast step.

After purchase, I had to go around with cable cutters and extract the all of the AC wiring all the way back to the shorepower inlet. The PO seemed well intentioned but unaware of some big issues. ie Non ignition-protected charger between the batteries and the gas tank, Romex wiring, standard household AC boxes, 14-3 wiring on a 30amp service.
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Old 09-26-2008
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Some people consider gasoline unsafe. I like it just fine, knowing what the risks are and NOT tolerating them. (Fuel leaks, carb flooding, etc. are simply NOT acceptable and NOT ignorable.) A gasoline engine also requires a USCG approved "marinized" alternator, which has spark protection. If someone has put in a car alternator--that can make a spark, bad thing around gasoline.

More important might be the fact that any older boat probably needs new rigging--a rigging failure can be a real problem. And new lifelines, another safety factor. If the hull and deck are structurally sound, if the keel is sound, if the rudder and rudder post are sound (and they can be damaged or fail on a new boat too) then I wouldn't worry about the age. Just the condition.

And, on a boat of that vintage there probably won't be any primary fuse located ON the battery, probably no GFI on the AC fitting. Those are two inexpensive safety factors considered normal on modern boats.
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Old 09-27-2008
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Thanks to all for your thoughtful and cogent words.

That Catalina 25 *kinda* calls to me. It doesn't scream, but the PO's care of it is evident, and most of the right stuff has been replaced: internal and mast wiring, etc. The teak is immaculate and the bottom paint is good. My only worry is that I might find 25' too small. Plenty enough room for our family of three, but the pop-top seems like it wouldn't be great for added guests, as I figure nobody should sit on top of it. I also worry about it handling rougher seas like some ~3ft ones I saw this summer coming home across the Sound in the evening. I figure I could maybe get it for $10k (13.5k asking price) by leveraging some comps. I'd have that "pride of ownership" and ability to sail at will. I think I might always be "what-if"ing myself regarding a larger boat, though, and it'd be nice to have more main-cabin berthing without building a custom insert.

I do want the ability to do a week-long cruise through the Sound, maybe with another couple/family, but that'll be maybe a yearly thing, so maybe I could just charter a bigger boat for that, and stick with the smaller, affordable one for daysails.

My wife has said that she could take care of our son some weekends while I go out with other folks (no shortage of crew/passengers via the local Meetup), but I think I need to be realistic about how much of that I'd be doing in the next year, especially if my work schedule needs to flex into the weekends since I'll be home with him during the days. I also need to face the fact that we have credit card debt, a probable sewer assessment in the next year, and an ELOC that's currently only getting interest payments. Thus, as Jody suggests, maybe I should hold off on any purchase just yet. I've felt compelled to take advantage of the current depression in prices, ostensibly due to the economic situation, and I guess the season -- more boats seem to come onto the market in the fall, and people sell for less because they don't want to pay moorage because they're warm-weather-only sailors. If six months or a year from now prices are generally 30%+ higher than they are right now, I'll be kicking myself.

If that C25 http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/838069505.html were a C27 in the same shape, or maybe even a tall rig C25, I might be less ambivalent. Maybe something like this is what I should be thinking about instead for a potential 2009 purchase: 1983 Catalina 27 Tall Rig Cruiser

I've read here that many of you have done hardware rebedding, complete rewiring, etc. on your boats, and while I envy your skills, I have to be honest with myself that I'd have to hire a pro to do anything on my boat past cleaning and fueling - and that factors into the cost.

In the meantime maybe I should be practical and just join Windworks' club in the spring. I could do daysails for as little as $74 incremental cost and maybe do some teaching with my wife, once I get her on a boat more stable than the J24 that's all she's known so far. Because as many of you know, the sailing thing works out much, much better with spousal participation.

These past five months living close to the water again but without primary access to a boat have been frustrating. Each day we have wind I turn to my wife and sigh about how we should be on the water. Le Sigh.

Last edited by anthony11; 09-27-2008 at 04:43 AM.
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